"A half dozen of us were singing hymns, praising the Lord. When the band struck up for the banquet, we just kept on singing. The louder the band played, the louder we sang."
She and Bateman organized a prayer service for passengers in the second-class dining room. When they broke up at 10:30 p.m., she was, "gloriously happy, but terribly tired."
At 11:40 p.m., the Titanic struck an iceberg, breaching five of the ship's watertight compartments.
Ada was asleep, but was roused by cabin-mate Marie Jerwan, who told her, "We've had an accident, get up."
Bateman rushed in as well, telling her, "There's been a very terrible accident, and I'm afraid some of us are going to be hurt."
She grabbed her robe and followed Bateman to the deck.
When they got there, "women and children were screaming with the men trying to calm them," she recalled. She said she could see people praying and crying as they watched their loved ones leave in lifeboats — or jump in the water.
"I'll never forget that awful sight," she recalled.
She saw one "elderly" woman get into a boat — then climb back, insisting that she rejoin her husband and say, "I'm staying with you ...". That account corresponds with the story of Ida Straus, wife of Macy's department store owner Isidor Straus, who refused to leave her husband's side as the ship sank. Both were later seen sitting on deck chairs, holding hands. Both died.
Though women and children were the priority, Ada's account suggests Bateman gave up his seat in a lifeboat to her.
"I turned around to Dr. Bateman and said, 'Good-bye, Bob,' " she recalled in the 1963 interview, "and he embraced me saying, 'We're all in God's hands now, honey.' "
From New York to Hunt Valley
The Titanic sank at roughly 2:20 a.m. April 15.
Just over 700 people survived. More than 1,500 perished.
Ada Balls was among those picked up in lifeboats by the RMS Carpathia and taken to New York.
The Rev. Bateman's body was later recovered — Ada's sister was now a widow, too.
"It's hard to say what her condition was after the disaster." Heimiller said of Ada.
"She didn't remember the first two months after being rescued," he said. "She was quite lucky to have survived."
Her sons eventually came to America — one became a reverend in Massachusetts, the other settled in Baltimore. Her sister settled in Baltimore, too.
In 1922, Ada married William R. Perine, also of Baltimore. By all accounts they had a happy life, celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary in 1947. He was a member of a Masonic Lodge in Pasadena, Md., and so after his death in 1953, Ada was eligible to move into the Mason's Bonnie Blink facility.